Articles & Advisories

Trusts and Estates Update: Variety Fare: Counsel Disqualification, Directed Accounting, Sua Sponte Review

The past several months have witnessed significant decisions on a multitude of issues affecting the field of trusts and estates. While typically this column has taken a themed approach, the adage “variety is the spice of life” comes to bear in this month’s column, which will address some of the...

Arrested Development? After year of defeating development, could LI be the ‘Land of No’ no longer?

Anthony Guardino, practicing partner in Land Use, Municipal and Environmental law was quoted in this article from Long Island Business News. “Our land use process needs significant improvement across Long Island,” said Anthony Guardino, a partner at Farrell Fritz, based in Uniondale. “That’s frustrating a lot of developers and we’re losing...

Joint Accounts: Who Gets the Account Upon Your Death?

An account that is titled in your name and that of your child “with right of survivorship” passes to your child upon your death “by operation of law.” That is, your Will does not control the disposition of this account.  When an account is titled in your name and your...

‘Public Trust’ Ruling Puts a Brake on Development

A decision by the New York Court of Appeals blocking construction of a project in Queens may reverberate across the state. Early last month, the New York Court of Appeals issued a decision that has made development of a particular blighted area of Queens significantly more difficult – and that...

Agency Proposes New Regulation on Perc Use by Dry Cleaners

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”), there are about 2,000 dry cleaning facilities in New York State that use perchloroethylene (“perc”) as the solvent in their dry cleaning machines. Most of these facilities are located within the New York City metropolitan area. Twenty years ago, in...

Advance Directives: Living Wills, Health Care Proxies and Powers of Attorney

We’re coming to the end of the school year and into the days of summer and no one wants to think about anything too “heavy”. It is, however, important to have advance directives in place.  All adults (including kids over 18 years of age) should have all three types of...

Trusts and Estate Update: Duress as an Objection to Probate

In Matter of Rosasco, 31 Misc3d 1214(A), the Surrogate’s Court, New York County (Glen, S.). engaged in a thorough analysis of the theory of duress as it applied to Surrogate’s Court practice, and more particularly, the validity of a propounded will. Notably, in denying petitioner’s motion for summary judgment on...

“Tax-Free” Exchanges May Not Be Free of Tax

Business owners love to hear the words “tax-free” when considering the disposition of business assets. Unfortunately, many fail to grasp that a tax-free dis-position is rarely free of tax in the sense of never being taxed; rather, the recognition and taxation of the gain inherent in the asset is deferred. Business...

Wills, Trusts & Estates: To Gift, Or Not To Gift…

Due to current tax laws, giving assets to loved ones (“gifting”) while you are alive, in order to reduce estate taxes your heirs will need to pay on their inheritance from you, is not the ‘no-brainer’ it used to be. It may make sense, from a tax savings standpoint, to...

Spot Zoning Challenges Rarely Are Successful

Rezoning decisions that are carefully thought out and well-reasoned are unlikely to be reversed as “spot zoning,” New York court decisions suggest. When a property owner or developer successfully obtains a zoning change for a particular parcel of land, neighbors or other community members or groups may challenge the decision in...

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